Review: Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Albert Shin's mystery begins promisingly enough. The opening scene features a young girl who wanders off from her family near Niagara Falls and sees something that haunts her into adulthood. An injured boy comes across her path only to motion to her to be quiet when a car pulls up. He runs and is violently taken by two adults. She isn't sure what she saw but deep down knows it was something terrible.
The film jumps years later where the little girl is now an adult. Abby (Tuppence Middleton) returns home after years of being away and quickly becomes obsessed with trying to solve whatever she saw back then. However due to years of lying and pulling cons, no one is particular eager to indulge her investigation. Her own sister Laurie (Hannah Gross) writes her off at first but as Abby digs for clues, she produces enough evidence to convince her sister that she's on to something. Abby also enlists the help from a podcaster and history expert played by David Cronenberg, in a rare on-screen performance.
The screenplay is often convoluted as the film takes many twists. As it goes on, it becomes unrealistic and the immediate shock of the opening scene fades. It doesn't help that the film is shot and edited like a dull TV movie. There is rarely anything in it that feels particularly cinematic. Being a mystery, the film still holds some desire to see how it all plays out. It is just a shame the film couldn't get on Cronenberg's quirky wavelength. He is fun in this role and brings the film to life when he is on-screen.